According to the Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC), beef plants across Northern Ireland (NI) quoted 368- 380p/kg for in-spec U-3 grade prime steers and heifers this week.
Meanwhile, quotes for good quality O+3 grade cows remained steady ranging from 265-290p/kg with most plants quoting 270-280p/kg.
The LMC reported that quotes for next week are expected to range from 366-380p/kg.
The throughput of prime cattle in NI plants last week totalled 6,362 head, a marginal increase when compared to the previous week. Also, this is an increase of 153 head from the 6,209 prime cattle processed in the same week last year.
To note, cow throughput in NI last week decreased by 94 head to 1,681 head from the previous week.
However, this is an increase of 339 cows from the same week in 2020 when 1,342 cows were processed locally.
Exports and imports
Imports of prime cattle from ROI for direct slaughter in NI plants last week totalled 318 head with 94 cows also imported.
Meanwhile, there continues to be no cattle imports from GB for direct slaughter in NI.
According to the LMC, cattle exports from NI for slaughter in ROI plants consisted of four steers and 34 cows and for the first time this year, 33 prime cattle and five cows were exported last week from NI to GB for direct slaughter.
Beef prices NI
The LMC reported that the deadweight cattle trade in NI “continued to firm last week”.
Firstly, the average steer price up 2.4p/kg to 384.5p/kg and the average heifer price up 2p/kg to 384.9p/kg.
The LMC reported that the R3 steer and heifer price in NI reported a similar price of 392p/kg last week, both back marginally from the previous week.
“This is well ahead of the same week last year when the R3 steer and heifer prices reported were 322.4p/kg and 323p/kg, respectively.”
Furthermore, the average young bull price increased by 2.7p/kg to 367.5p/kg with the R3 young bull price increasing by just over a penny to 380p/kg.
Meanwhile, the average cow price in NI last week was up by 2.6p/kg to 274.2p/kg. Besides, the O3 cow price was up just over 5p/kg from the previous week to 297.9p/kg.
“The deadweight cattle trade in Northern Ireland during 2021 has remained well above previous years and due to a tightening in the supply of cattle, has strengthened further in recent weeks. The R3 steer price in Northern Ireland last week was 392p/kg which is down marginally from the previous week when the highest R3 steer price ever was recorded in NI.”
“Last week the average R3 steer price in NI was 69.6p/kg greater than the same price in the corresponding week last year and equates to a £244 differential on a 350kg carcase.”
“Although the R3 steer price in the corresponding week in 2019 was stronger than that in 2020, last week’s R3 steer price remains 50.5p/kg above this figure.”
Beef prices in Great Britain
“The deadweight prime cattle trade continued to strengthen in GB last week.”
To note, the average steer price increased by 2.5p/kg from the previous week to 406.4p/kg with the average R3 steer price up 2.7p/kg to 411.1p/kg.
According to the LMC, all GB regions recorded increases in R3 steer prices last week with the strongest increase in Northern England of 4.8p/kg to 411.1p/kg.
“The average heifer price in GB last week was up 2p/kg to 406.6p/kg while the average R3 heifer price increased by almost 2p/kg to 411.3p/kg.”
“All of the regions recorded increases in the R3 heifer price from the previous week with the highest increase recorded in Northern England of 3.9p/kg to 410.6p/kg.”
“The cow trade in GB also firmed last week with the O3 cow price up by 3.8p/kg to 302.2p/kg,” the LMC concluded.